Just another pretty face

Remember that 4x5 format vertical headshot that we used to sell the crap out of to easily excitable parents?  All that a mother wanted to see from the portrait session was a close up of her smiling son or daughter.  After-all, they did just dump 4 grand into braces that were recently removed.  I can't argue that capturing a person's face is very important and will be cherished forever.  My challenge to the photographic world is:  First, don't be afraid to include some environment in your portraits, even if that particular location has been used a thousand times.  If it's a part of where that person grew up or spent a lot of time, I guarantee it will be important to them at some point.  The value of the images we create now can't compete with the future worth of those same images years down the road.  Second, I think it's easier to create a story telling image without them looking at the camera.  I love the shoots where I never have to say "smile".  Lastly, don't let your image be just another pretty face.  Add meaning to your images with great intention.